Green Bay Packers

5 Numbers That Tell the Story of the Packers-Vikings Game

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Becker (USA TODAY Sports)

Week 11 featured a marquee matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. The game lived up to the hype, with the Vikings ultimately winning on a Greg Joseph field goal as time expired in Minneapolis.

Green Bay certainly had their chances but came up short to fall to 8-3 on the season.

Here are five numbers that sum up what took place at U.S. Bank Stadium.

3

Packers safety Darnell Savage should’ve had three interceptions but ended up with zero. Each one would’ve provided a massive shift in momentum, but Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was able to snake his way out of trouble.

Savage picked off Cousins on a miscommunication between Minnesota’s QB1 and superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson on the first go-around. However, Kingsley Keke accidentally breathed on Cousins, which caused Shawn Hochuli to throw a flag and call roughing the passer.

The second opportunity was a great effort from Adam Thielen to break up what should’ve been a routine pick for Savage when Cousins chucked a ball into double coverage downfield.

And finally, with the game tied at 31-31, Cousins again showed a lack of judgment by throwing a contested duck that Savage initially appeared to bring down before the call was overturned by the super-reliable Hochuli.

Savage’s first pick that was wiped out by a phantom roughing call ended up being a Vikings touchdown, and the final missed chance gave the Vikings a second life to kick the game-winning field goal.

2

Green Bay missed Rashan Gary‘s presence on Sunday. Gary has been a monster on the edge all season long, and a hyperextended elbow kept him sidelined in this affair. As a result, Joe Barry’s defense only mustered two sacks (both by Preston Smith) and very few pressures.

Cousins was allotted all sorts of time all afternoon and capitalized with some deep-ball connections to Jefferson and Thielen.

Green Bay’s defense had been playing well, but the absence of some big names finally caught up to them. The pass rush had been having great success that caused a trickle-down effect on the rest of the defense. That pass rush rarely posed much danger to the Vikings, which, to their credit, was partly because the offensive line played well.

32

There are always plays to look back at after losing a close game that will drive players, coaches, and fans insane.

They drove right down the field with Green Bay trailing 9-3 at the start of the second quarter. However, Mason Crosby decided it was a great time to miss another field goal. This one came from 32 yards out and sucked some of the life out of Green Bay.

Crosby has now missed eight field goals this year. While a couple have been blocked, he has failed to hit home on some easy ones.

The game-winner against the San Francisco 49ers back in Week 3 seems like it was decades ago. If it weren’t for his longevity and Green Bay’s loyalty, the Packers would likely cut Crosby.

Everyone is walking on eggshells every time he lines up to kick, regardless of the distance. He needs to figure it out fast.

8/92

Cousins and Rodgers turned this game into a shootout on Sunday. All the camera time they were getting must have made head official Shawn Hochuli jealous. What resulted was the Packers getting penalized eight times for 92 yards, one of their highest marks of the year.

Green Bay had multiple drives get backed up into 1st and 20 scenarios. It’s hard to win games when you make those mistakes. Yes, the Packers still put up 31 points, but as Rodgers noted in his postgame, it felt like a game where they easily could’ve had 41 points if not for some miscues.

16/251

The two stud wide receivers for the Vikings showed up and showed out in a big way. Jefferson had eight receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns, while Thielen had eight catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Both of these wideouts routinely step up in big spots, and Thielen has always been a pest for the Packers to deal with. Green Bay’s cornerbacks had one of their most brutal showings in the last couple of months. Games like this happen even for excellent defenses. Jefferson and Thielen not only took advantage, but they also feasted on Sunday against the Packers.

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